African Trainees Flourish As Inclusive Museum Heritage Project Gets Underway

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Four trainees who recently embarked upon yearlong placements at Glasgow Museums and the National Trust for Scotland are already making an impact with duties such as hosting tours, transcribing old books and undertaking research. The apprentices have been appointed as part of the Inclusive Museum Heritage Project, which was developed to create greater opportunities for African and minority ethnic communities to access and engage in the Scottish museum sector.

The Inclusive Museum Heritage Project was inspired after consultations with Black and minority ethnic communities highlighted that work was needed to ensure they are represented by the museum sector and that their stories are being told.  The innovative programme was developed by Next Step Initiative with support from a number of partners including Glasgow Life, National Trust Scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland.

The trainees are based at Riverside Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, with the Open Museum and at the David Livingstone Centre.  During the 12 month placement they will also undertake a level 3 SVQ in Museums and Galleries practice, a qualification developed by Museums Galleries Scotland for their Heritage Horizon’s traineeship programme.

Sali Dirar, who is an Open Museum trainee based at Glasgow Museum Resource Centre, said: “I am so pleased I grabbed this opportunity with both hands.  It represented an excellent chance to develop my skills and get some solid work experience on a new career path.  I’m really enjoying my time so far, every day is new learning experience and it’s really exciting”.

As well as the traineeships, the Inclusive Museums Heritage Project also involves outreach work with local African Communities and capacity building programmes for the museum sector will explore how to engage with African communities across Scotland.

Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, added: “Glasgow Museums is pleased to be part of this pioneering initiative.  Our aim is to inspire Glasgow citizens and visitors to lead richer lives through culture and learning and this project brings these together beautifully.  In addition to allowing the trainees to strengthen their experience and qualifications, their story is sure to motivate others in their community to become involved in museums.”

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “I am delighted that Museums Galleries Scotland is involved in this innovative, grass roots project. The strength of the Inclusive Museums Heritage Project stems from its multi-stranded approach of outreach events, capacity building, accredited work based training and placement. I am pleased that the SVQ in Museums and Heritage Practice has been adopted as we created that specifically to widen access to the museum sector.”

The Inclusive Museum Heritage Project is supported by £98,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Suzanne Rough, Glasgow Life


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